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Published April 9th 2024

Saving, Spending, and Investing: The Biggest Consumer Trends in Finance for 2024

How has consumer behavior around finances changed lately? Which new trends are emerging and which ones are fading?

The financial sector is constantly changing, and so is consumer behavior. 

Today, more than ever, it's critical for brands to identify shifts in consumer preferences and behaviors as early as possible to refine their marketing strategies and stay relevant to their consumers.

In our latest consumer trends report on the financial services sector, we deep dive into the biggest consumer trends. Let's go through some of the biggest ones that are currently shaping consumer behavior in 2024.

1. Budgeting is becoming a top priority for consumers

Due to inflation and escalating costs, consumers are finding themselves spending more than they did a few years ago. As a result, consumers are more conscious of their spending habits. To effectively manage their finances, many have turned to personal finance apps as a practical solution for budgeting and financial management. 

Online conversations about finance apps increased by more than a third between March 1, 2023 and February 29, 2024, compared to the previous 12 months. The increasing popularity of finance apps can also be seen in search interest. According to Google Trends, search interest for "finance app" reached its second-highest peak in the last five years in January 2024. Consumers are noticeably more interested in apps that help them keep track of their finances.

The primary emotion in these conversations is joy, with 45% of emotion-categorized mentions being joyful. When consumers find the right app, they like to talk about their positive experience online. In positive conversations, they praise the app if it is free, easy to use, and has helpful features.

Financial brands that tap into these conversations can use these insights to inform product development, build features that consumers really want, and increase customer satisfaction.

2. Loyalty programs make consumers happy

Consumers love loyalty programs, particularly as they have become more price-conscious in the past few years. The number of people talking about finance-related loyalty programs online increased by a quarter between March 1, 2023 and February 29, 2024 compared to the previous 12 months, resulting in 18% more mentions.

Not only are we seeing a notable increase in both the number of people talking about loyalty programs and the frequency of mentions, but consumers are also expressing more positivity towards them. Positive mentions of loyalty programs are up 16% and account for more than half of all sentiment-categorized mentions.

Consumers love to get something in return for their loyalty, whether it is a discount or a reward. And if they are satisfied with the loyalty program, they will go online and share their experience with their community. Some of the most commonly used words in these conversations are "love," "good," and "happy."

Loyalty programs are a great way for brands to show customers that their loyalty is valued, deepen customer relationships, and increase sales.

3. Saving for debt and emergencies is a big consumer topic

People discuss the topic of saving money more online. Mentions of saving money increased by 7% from March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024 compared to the previous 12 months. Unsurprisingly, the majority of conversations are negative, accounting for three-quarters of all sentiment-categorized mentions.

In online conversations about saving money, people most frequently talk about saving for debt repayments, housing, and cars. Debt repayment is both the number one topic of conversation about saving and the topic that people talk about most negatively online. 

A whopping 88% of all sentiment categorized mentions are negative. And debt repayment is a growing pain point. From March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024, online conversations about paying off debt increased by 28% compared to the previous 12 months. The only other topic with a higher increase is saving for emergencies, with a 57% increase in mentions. Consumers talk more frequently about the need to save for financial emergencies.

Understanding that debt repayment and emergency savings are top concerns for consumers, financial brands can develop content, products, or services that address these needs. Brands that listen and offer solutions can increase customer loyalty and stay ahead of the competition.

Get more juicy consumer finance insights in our new report

Curious about more financial trends? In our new financial services report, we uncover the latest consumer trends, including: 

  • Consumer spending habits and the most popular payment methods
  • A look behind the "girl math" trend
  • How online conversations about investing and retirement have changed
  • The most common consumer pain points surrounding insurance
  • And much more. 

Discover more consumer trends in financial services here.

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Spending, Saving, Investing: Consumer Finance Trends for 2024

How have consumer behaviors and preferences changed in the financial services sector?.

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